ISLAMABAD: An agreement worth Rs442 billion with a joint venture of Power China and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) was signed on Wednesday for the construction of a diversion system, main dam, access bridge and 21-megawatt Tangir hydroelectric power project.
In the wake of a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan a couple of days ago on water security and construction of mega dams including the Diamer-Bhasha dam, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) said all efforts were under way to ensure timely mobilisation of the contractor and effective follow-up on the Diamer-Bhasha project.
Diamer-Bhasha Project Chief Executive Officer Amir Bashir Chaudhry and an authorised representative of the joint venture, Yang Jiandu, signed the agreement on behalf of Wapda and the joint venture respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony, Federal Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda congratulated Wapda and Power China-FWO joint venture, saying that today’s event was a good omen for the construction of much-needed dams in Pakistan.
He announced that the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam would kick off in a few weeks. “Diamer-Bhasha dam is a phenomenal project to ensure water, food and energy security in Pakistan,” he remarked.
Shedding light on the development work done in the water sector by the federal government, the minister pointed out that after Mohmand Dam, which was inaugurated by the prime minister in May last year, Diamer-Bhasha was the second mega multi-purpose dam, work on which would be started in a span of just one year, which was unprecedented in Pakistan’s history.
Speaking on the occasion, Wapda Chairman Lt General (Retd) Muzammil Hussain said Diamer-Bhasha dam would go a long way towards promoting economic development and social uplift in the country. “Wapda is committed to completing this mega project in accordance with the timelines to cope with the increasing water and electricity requirement in the country,” he emphasised.
“Diamer-Bhasha project, with total financial outlay of about Rs1,406.5 billion, will be completed in 2028,” he declared.
The Wapda chairman elaborated that the total financial outlay included land acquisition and resettlement, confidence-building measures for social uplift of the locals, construction of dam and powerhouses. “The project will have gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet and power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts, with annual generation of 18.1 billion units of electricity,” he added.
Wapda has already awarded the contract for consultancy services for the Diamer-Bhasha dam worth Rs27.182 billion to Diamer-Bhasha Consultants Group (DBCG). The consultancy agreement includes construction design, construction supervision and contract administration for the project. The DBCG joint venture comprises 12 top-ranked national and foreign consulting firms.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2020.
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